Real Lives and Lost Lives: Making Sense of ‘Locked in’ Responses to Intimate Partner Homicide

Sandra Walklate, ANNA HOPKINS

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Abstract

The problem of intimate partner homicide is featuring increasingly on national and international policy agendas. Over the last 40 years, responses to this issue have been characterised by
preventive strategies (including ‘positive’ policing; the proliferation of risk assessment tools,
and multi-agency working) and post-event analyses (including police inquiries and domestic
homicide reviews). In different ways, each of these responses has become ‘locked in’ to
policies. Drawing on an analysis of police inquiries into domestic homicides in England and
Wales over a 10-year period, this paper will explore the nature of these ‘locked in’ responses
and will suggest that complexity theory offers a useful lens through which to make sense of
them and the ongoing consistent patterning of intimate partner homicide more generally. The
paper will suggest this lens in embracing what is known and unknown affords a different way
of thinking about and responding to this problem.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalAsian Journal of Criminology
Early online date30 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2019

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homicide
police
risk assessment
proliferation
event

Keywords

  • Intimate partner homicide . Complexity theory. Preventing violence against women
  • Complexity Theory
  • Preventing violence against women

Cite this

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title = "Real Lives and Lost Lives: Making Sense of ‘Locked in’ Responses to Intimate Partner Homicide",
abstract = "The problem of intimate partner homicide is featuring increasingly on national and international policy agendas. Over the last 40 years, responses to this issue have been characterised bypreventive strategies (including ‘positive’ policing; the proliferation of risk assessment tools,and multi-agency working) and post-event analyses (including police inquiries and domestichomicide reviews). In different ways, each of these responses has become ‘locked in’ topolicies. Drawing on an analysis of police inquiries into domestic homicides in England andWales over a 10-year period, this paper will explore the nature of these ‘locked in’ responsesand will suggest that complexity theory offers a useful lens through which to make sense ofthem and the ongoing consistent patterning of intimate partner homicide more generally. Thepaper will suggest this lens in embracing what is known and unknown affords a different wayof thinking about and responding to this problem.",
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